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The Two Jakes
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The Two Jakes (1990) More at IMDbPro »

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The Two Jakes -- Jack Nicholson returns as private eye Jake Gittes in this atmospheric Chinatown follow-up that's hit upon "the elusive sequel formula for somehow enhancing a great original" (Mike Clark, USA Today). Much has changed since we last saw Jake. The war has come and gone; 1948 Los Angeles teems with optimism and fast bucks. But there's one thing Jake knows hasn't changed: "Nine times out of ten, if you follow the money you will get to the truth." And that's the trail he follows when a routine case of marital hanky panky explodes into a murder that's tied to a grab for oil--and to Jake's own past.


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6.1/10   8,161 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Robert Towne (characters)
Robert Towne (written by)
View company contact information for The Two Jakes on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 August 1990 (USA) See more »
They say money makes the world go round. But sex was invented before money.
The sequel to Chinatown (1974) finds Jake Gittes investigating adultery and murder... and the money that comes from oil. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
(37 articles)
User Reviews:
Just because it's no Chinatown, doesn't make this film bad See more (51 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jack Nicholson ... J.J. 'Jake' Gittes

Harvey Keitel ... Julius 'Jake' Berman

Meg Tilly ... Kitty Berman

Madeleine Stowe ... Lillian Bodine

Eli Wallach ... Cotton Weinberger

Rubén Blades ... Michael 'Mickey Nice' Weisskopf

Frederic Forrest ... Chuck Newty

David Keith ... Det. Lt. Loach

Richard Farnsworth ... Earl Rawley

Tracey Walter ... Tyrone Otley

Joe Mantell ... Lawrence Walsh

James Hong ... Kahn

Perry Lopez ... Captain Lou Escobar
Jeff Morris ... Ralph Tilton

Rebecca Broussard ... Gladys
Paul A. DiCocco Jr. ... Liberty Levine
John Hackett ... Mark Bodine
Rosie Vela ... Linda

Allan Warnick ... Manfred P. Rippey
Susan Forristal ... Delores
Will Tynan ... Judge Alexander K. Dettmer

Van Dyke Parks ... Francis Hannah

William Duffy ... Desk Sergeant
Sue Carlton ... Mattie Rawley
Don McGovern ... Bartender (as Don McGovern)

Luana Anders ... Florist

Dean Hill ... Cop with Parrot
Pia Grønning ... Dr. Elsa Branchauer
John Herman Shaner ... Saul
Michael Shaner ... Benny

Lee Weaver ... Caddy #1
Malek Abdul-Mansour ... Caddy #2
Kenneth Cervi ... Prowler (as Ken Cervi)
Annie Marshall ... Client with Dog
Ian Thorpe ... Errol Flynn Look-alike
Collette Northrop ... Cigarette Hat Check Girl
Patricia Durham ... Clarissa
Randi Ingerman ... Lana
Joy Wayman ... Lady Asleep at Clinic
Bob George ... Bar Maitre D'
Suzanne Mitchell ... The Redhead
Alan Chaffin ... Bar Manager

Wyn Costello ... Black-Eye Woman
Lisa Croisette ... Laura Teal, Actress at Max Factor (as Lisa Regina Croisette)
Jessica Z. Diamond ... Receptionist
Scott Flynn ... Golf Advisor
Benard Ihgner ... Singer at Green Parrot
Earl Palmer ... Green Parrot Band
Simeon Pillich ... Green Parrot Band
Herman Riley ... Green Parrot Band

Faye Dunaway ... Evelyn Mulwray (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Paulie DiCocco ... Liberty Levine (uncredited)

James Ent ... Bailiff #2 (uncredited)

Jeffery Thomas Johnson ... Golfer (uncredited)

Moreen Littrell ... Military Wife (uncredited)
Meredith McKenzie-Alcus ... Mother with Baby (uncredited)
John Michael Quinn ... Desk Sergeant (uncredited)
Tereza Rizzardi ... Woman at Max Factor (uncredited)

Tom Waits ... Plainclothes Policeman (uncredited)

Directed by
Jack Nicholson 
Writing credits
Robert Towne (characters)

Robert Towne (written by)

Produced by
R. Blaine Currier .... associate producer
Robert Evans .... producer
Alan Finkelstein .... associate producer
Harold Schneider .... producer
Jack Nicholson .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Van Dyke Parks 
Cinematography by
Vilmos Zsigmond 
Film Editing by
Anne Goursaud 
Casting by
Terry Liebling 
Production Design by
Jeremy Railton 
Richard Sawyer 
Art Direction by
Richard Schreiber 
Set Decoration by
Jerry Wunderlich 
Costume Design by
Wayne A. Finkelman 
Makeup Department
Ray Sebastian .... makeup artist
Toni-Ann Walker .... hair stylist
Brad Wilder .... makeup artist
Joy Zapata .... hair stylist
Production Management
Max Stein .... unit production manager (as Max A. Stein)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michael Daves .... first assistant director
Todd Grodnick .... second second assistant director
Michael Kennedy .... assistant director
Linda Rockstroh .... second assistant director
Gail Seely .... second second assistant director
Art Department
Mark Boucher .... set dresser
Mark Boucher .... swing gang
Nigel A. Boucher .... leadman
Emily Ferry .... property master
Christopher Gilman .... props
David Goldstein .... lead painter
Charles R. Lipscomb .... lead man
Harold Michelson .... storyboard artist
Mike Villarino .... propmaker
Sound Department
Greg Curda .... foley mixer
Ken Dufva .... foley artist
Julia Evershade .... supervising sound editor
John Hoeren .... sound effects editor
Robert J. Litt .... sound re-recording mixer
James Matheny .... dialogue editor
Bob Newlan .... sound editor
Art Rochester .... production sound mixer
Greg P. Russell .... sound re-recording mixer
Douglas J. Schulman .... boom operator
Elliot Tyson .... sound re-recording mixer
Paul C. Warschilka .... first assistant sound editor
Thomas Whiting .... supervisng adr editor
David Williams .... dialogue editor
Ellen Heuer .... foley artist (uncredited)
Greg Orloff .... foley mixer (uncredited)
John Roesch .... foley artist (uncredited)
Donald C. Rogers .... technical director of sound (uncredited)
Carolyn Tapp .... foley recordist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
David Domeyer .... special effects
R.J. Hohman .... special effects assistant
Joe Lombardi .... special effects coordinator
Paul J. Lombardi .... supervisor
Michael Roundy .... special effects technician
Ronnie Rondell Jr. .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Albert Lloyd Alexander .... grip
William D. Barber .... first assistant camera
Earl L. Clark .... camera operator
Ray De La Motte .... camera operator
Jeff Mart .... Steadicam operator
Chris Squires .... assistant camera
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Sharon Iris Crall .... costumer
Editorial Department
Ron Lambert .... color timer
Bryan McMahan .... colorist: mastering
Jimmy Sandoval .... first assistant editor
Music Department
J.J. George .... assistant music editor
Todd Hayen .... orchestrator
Lennie Niehaus .... orchestrator
Lonnie Sill .... music supervisor
Transportation Department
Paulie DiCocco .... driver: Harvey Keitel
Shane Greedy .... production driver
Dennis Junt .... picture car coordinator
Joel Marrow .... transportation coordinator
Joseph Sullivan .... driver
Other crew
Carmen Avila .... assistant accountant
Joanie Blum .... script supervisor
Sandra Boissier .... assistant to producer (as Sandra Baragiola Boissier)
Robert L. Dohan .... assistant location manager
Les Godwin .... associate location manager
Anthony Goldschmidt .... title designer
John Hackett .... stand-in
T.J. Healy II .... assistant location manager
Jim Jaffe .... product placement
Andrew Lipschultz .... unit publicist
Bertram McCann .... marine coordinator
Jennifer Nicholson .... assistant to production designers
Jane Prosnit .... production coordinator
Faye Dunaway .... special thanks
Los Angeles Ktla-tv .... thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
137 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Dolby (35 mm prints) | 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)
Argentina:18 | Australia:M | Brazil:14 | Canada:PG (Manitoba/Ontario) | Canada:A (Nova Scotia) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Finland:K-14 | Germany:12 | Norway:15 | Portugal:M/16 | Singapore:PG | Sweden:15 (DVD rating) | UK:15 | USA:R

Did You Know?

The picture was filmed during April, May, June and July 1989.See more »
Continuity: In the courtroom scene (approx. 1:56 in) the DA's left lapel goes from folded under to out flat.See more »
Jake Gittes:I don't want to live in the past, Khan. I just don't want to lose it.See more »
My IdealSee more »


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56 out of 65 people found the following review useful.
Just because it's no Chinatown, doesn't make this film bad, 2 January 2001
Author: Daniel J. Fienberg (d_fienberg) from Los Angeles, CA

The Two Jakes and The Godfather 3 were released in the second half of 1990 and both films proved that sometimes it's best not to tamper with classics. This is not necessarily because sometimes a sequel can't compliment a classic, but because no matter what you do, there's no way to avoid comparing the new versions to the old. And the final chapter of the Godfather trilogy is vastly inferior to the first two. And Two Jakes is vastly inferior to Chinatown. But since Chinatown and the first two Godfathers are among the best films every made, that's a pretty pointless comparison. Just as The Godfather 3 stands on its own as a very sturdy and interesting piece of filmmaking, Two Jakes also works on its own merits. It's confusing, overlong (a full ten minutes more than the original), and never fully gels, but it's also passionate, intelligent filmmaking. Go figure.

In his autobiography, producer Robert Evans refers to Robert Towne's script for Two Jakes as basically only half-finished. It was half-finished when they started shooting, half-finished when they made it half-way through the shoot, and it pretty much feels half-finished in the final product. This is a movie where characters wander in and out and a full two-thirds of the storylines go essentially unresolved. The grand climax of the film (and trust me, I'm not spoiling anything) is an evidentiary hearing, for heavens sakes! And I couldn't really explain the plot if I wanted to, but here's the quick summary: It's fifteen years after Chinatown and Jake Gittes Jack Nicholson) has become older, fatter, and a good deal more bitter. He's now an Investigator respected throughout LA, but he's still haunted by his experiences with the Mulwrays, especially the late Evelyn. The film begins with a jealous husband, Jake Berman (Harvey Keitel), storming into a hotel room and killing his wife's lover, with Jake listening in the next room. Of course, you know the crime probably wasn't entirely about love or lust and that money probably had something to do with it. Money, history, and oil, actually. And it spins in circles from there.

It's easy to notice that the film slacks off at around the half-way point. It's then that you realize just how tight Robert Towne's Chinatown script was. Even at a shred over two hours, every word counts, every gesture, every twist. Two Jakes is flabby in comparison. The dialogue is pleasantly hardboiled and the actors enjoy delivering it, but the resolutions of the various mysteries mostly fall flat. You either see them coming, or don't understand when they arrive. It's to Towne and director Jack Nicholson's credit that the film ends on a number of satisfying grace notes.

Nicholson's direction is almost never the source of the film's flaws. And this is legitimately high praise in a film as twisting and convoluted as this. Of course, he again makes you appreciate the brilliant economy of Roman Polanski's direction of Chinatown, a film with an immeasurable amount of class. Nicholson produces several wonderful moments including a beautiful pull shot from the ocean to a teatime conversation with Kahn (who Chinatown fans will avidly remember). Nicholson and director of photography Vilmos Zsigmond capture a Los Angeles of burnt out dreams, on the brink of overdevelopment and overexpansion. The film has noir stylings but it respectfully looks different from Chinatown.

Nicholson's performance is more a study of what has happened to the actor since Chinatown, rather than what has happened to the character. Because Jack was less of an icon when Chinatown was made, the original Jake Gittes is one of his least iconic performances. By the time he won his Oscar the next year for One Flew Over The Cuckoo's nest Nicholson had already become JACK (in all caps) and he hasn't looked back. In Two Jakes, Jake Gittes has become JACK. There's no getting around it. However, there's also no getting around the fact that Nicholson is a great actor and even if his performances are frequently variations on a theme, it's a pretty super theme.

Two Jakes is peppered with supporting performances of varying degrees of depth. Harvey Keitel has never been better as the second of the two Jakes. His character is emotionally complicated and perhaps the only person in the film (besides Gittes) who gets to go through a character arc. He plays it wonderfully. The femmes fatale in the film, as played by Madeline Stowe and Meg Tilly are less and more complicated than they seem. Ruben Blade, Richard Farnsworth, and Eli Wallach provide capable support when they're given anything to do.

The fact is that like the Godfather 3, if you came upon Two Jakes with a completely open mind, you'd find it a complicated thriller, vastly more substantial than most films of the genre. The fact that it's got its flaws that it'll never compare to Chinatown are the basis for a 7/10 rating.

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what the is so bad about this movie? BigBud77
I wonder what Polanski thought of it... lovin_cat
Jake Gittes...ex -L.A.P.D. Officer?? vsu50
Info on Cloverleaf (third film in the trilogy) Michael_Cronin
Madeleine Stowe was hot in corset jingster6666
How does it end? chelseafc78
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